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25

There are a mix of answers already offered on this question. I would like to rebut a couple of points proffered in some of those answers. These rebuttals are made with due respect - we all have different teachers, walked different paths and have learnt different things. Please don't be offended if I have chosen to critique one of your statements. ...


16

There are a couple of different reasons I can see for the use of forms. The first is that they are a functional mechanism of communicating patterns of movement that tend to go together, and to ingrain those movements into muscle memory. I've seen a few people talk about doing something in real life, only to realize later that it was part of some form that ...


10

How do I determine which kind of martial art will suit me best? Unless you are willing to relocate to be nearer to the right teacher teaching the right martial art for you, you must look at schools which are within an hour or so commute from where you live/work. Because otherwise, you will not make it to the training session(s). All the martial arts ...


9

I think the main purpose of forms(kata) is muscle memory, drill something enough, and it you will be able to do it without thinking. the precision and exactness of the forms also encourages the participant to focus on the little details of a technique which will make their over all technique much better. the final reason i see for doing forms/kata is ...


8

You are indeed looking for the 'Pinan' (or 'Heian') forms. The wiki article sheds quite a lot of light upon them. Short story - they are in Shito, Wado, Shorin, Kobayashi, Kyokushin Shorei, Matsubayashi, and Shindo Jinen Ryu, as well as Shukokai and Shotokan. They were created by Anko Itosu. They consist of pieces of the larger forms KankuDai / Kusanku and ...


7

Yes and no. The techniques you use while standing have to be modified to work from the ground. If the art you are studying does not have a ground combat set of techniques, you need to get back to a stance where your art works. You have a different set of vulnerabilities and tactical advantages than you may be used to. Some things don't change: Power ...


7

Forms are a way to transfer the knowledge from instructor to the student. In many cases, forms are what defines specific martial art. Change the form and you have different martial art. If only one practitioner is left of the entire art, the art still can be resurrected via forms. That's what I was taught and this is my belief as student and instructor. I ...


7

One application is to capture a punch. If you enter the puncher's space, there's an arm break and/or a relatively violent takedown. It can be very similar to some silat takedowns. It can be a deflection and striking/throwing entry without any capturing or breaks. One application Attacker steps in with a right-hand punch. Defender outward-deflects punch ...


7

I think rather than going into it with all these ideas about what you want to get out of it, just go and try some martial arts. Try multiple before you choose one, most allow a week or two of free training. I'll re-emphasize that, try multiple before choosing one. I suggest trying ( if available ) kicky punchy ones, karate, tkd, kickboxing a grapply ...


6

There are some excellent answers here. There is a use for kata that goes beyond muscle memory or instilling discipline through boredom. I am reminded of it just now when reading this answer. Stilling your mind is difficult just sitting down. Stilling your mind while standing is harder. Stilling your mind while walking is harder still. It is most difficult ...


5

According to The 1995 Condensed, 1999 Condensed and 2008 15 Volume (as well as the original 1985? 15 Volume) these are Hooking Blocks (16 and 19 preformed as the first half of a Connecting Motion). Online resources back this up as well, such as http://chk-taekwondo.com/id28.html which is an excellent, excellent resource. My own writeup on the patterns is ...


5

Forms are good to check your posture and correct execution of the techniques. For some time I knew my posture was wrong : I am arching my back when I should not, which mean that on some blocks I would not correctly transfer the strenght of the attack to my legs and the floor. By working my form, I am now able to slowly but sure correct this bad back ...


5

A slightly different answer than the others above: forms are excellent relevant exercise. Using myself as a specific example: if I perform every poomse from Taeguk Il Jang to Taebaek with total focus on form, accuracy and power, I will have tested my flexibility, exercised my core and soaked myself in sweat. When I have an hour that I can dedicate, I'll ...


4

One thing to keep in mind is that most all Kata are extremely contrived. You will never, in a real situation, find yourself in a situation where a Kata fits fully. Kata are trained to teach you two things. First they are there to train your body to move without thinking, muscle memory, like Patricia stated. Secondly they are to teach you to keep moving. ...


4

In addition to the excellent answers by Patricia and David H. Clements, let me add two small historical foot notes. Some kata were developed to hide essence of a technique with extra movements. Thus, it allowed the master to teach something to all the students but only those with insights or special favours would be given the heart of how it worked. This ...


4

What purposes do they serve? 1) They correct your mistakes while you a learning (for example, if you don't keep your back straight, your form would not look right etc) 2) They help you fight (yes, they do!); there is a simple but very powerful exercise - try to fight (spar) using movements from the kata and nothing else (as much as you can do it); I have ...


4

Shaolin Kempo Karate is a unique blend of concepts and principles from the Chinese Temple Boxing and Japanese/Okinawan Karate forms applied to the art of Kempo, combining to form the 4-ways of fighting system. The forms originate from those disciplines... Pinions 1 thru 5 originate from Okinawa and Katas originate from Kempo. The animal forms learned after ...


4

Berin Loritsch has a good answer, but I wanted to add something here as well, as one who primarily has trained in standup martial arts, but also had spent some time training Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu in an MMA gym as well. If you are on the ground and primarily train an art that emphasizes standing techniques, and are engaged against someone whose art has them ...


4

I'm very pleased with Autrelle Holland's Aiki-jo manual, which contains the Suburi and Kihon (I believe those are what you refer to as "small kata". I've also been impressed with Stanford Aikido's discussion of the Jo Suburi, which contains some very precise, practical advice and a wonderful sense of humor. Of course for video the Saito Aiki-Ken and ...


4

There are a number of video resources available. As was pointed out in the comments depending on your style (and even instructor) there may be small changes. I included most of the ones I've been taught over the years. My instructors were generally influenced by Saito Sensei. For Jo: 31 Count Jo Kata 13 Count Jo Kata (Saito) 20 Jo Suburi (basic attacks) ...


4

There are many applications, depending on what part of the single whip sequence one looks at. There is hooking and pull-down and push with the right hand at the beginning of the motion. Then there is a potential albeit well hidden elbow strike when turning around. Then there is a combination of a ward-off, pull-down and push, the end of which can be seen ...


4

I've studied Yang style Tai Chi for two years. There are some very simple applications for Single Whip: In the images above, the guy is facing forwards, imagine if the attacker was coming from behind. You start in Wu Chi and when they try to punch the back of your head, you step backwards into single whip, using the whip hand to very subtly deflect the ...


4

Yes, that is the final movement of "the walk" - I'm drawing a blank on the Japanese name. Quick google search indicates that some schools call that "taiso", but (a) we've never used that term (b) that term seems to refer to something more general, and (c) our school has always called it "the walk". You can see a version of it in this video around the 42 ...


4

A form or kata is a set sequence of moves, always performed the same way. Obviously you can also have a sequence (or combination) of moves that are not a form/kata, however in my (limited) travels I have never heard the word sequence used as a formal noun for anything in any style (I've only heard it used as an adjective). However there are literally ...


4

If you look at the forms tag you'll notice it's description is a sequence of movements traditionally used in the practice and performance of a martial art. An important word here is 'traditionally'. A form is not only a method to teach and learn a particular technique, it has also been used to preserve and pass on a proven technique in a formal and ...


4

Disclaimer: I have no medical background. Please consult your Doctor. First and foremost, (and I really can't say this enthusiastically enough) Please consult your Doctor! His/her word will be much more valuable than anything you read here. Second, I suspect that it should probably be OK to start up again, but do so very cautiously. Here are some ...


4

If anyone was to ask me that question without supplying any context, my answer would be: What do you expect to get out of it? To answer that, you need to consider things like: do you want to train long term, or are you looking for quick results? do you want to learn skills that will see you through lots of different scenarios, or do you just ...


4

I was going to enter this as a comment, but I think it will be too long for that. First, the other answers as a collective are all excellent, and taken as a unit could almost be a FAQ on how to select a school/art. However, the one statement that you put in your question that concerns me is: I want to get in shape but need external "guilt factors" to ...


4

I'm going to be repetitive, because some things are worth repeating. @Sardathrion pointed you at two answers to prior questions that you'll cheat yourself if you don't go back and read. I might also recommend Eric Raymond's shopping series (even if you don't share Eric's politics or limitations, the series is a good one; he talks about how to evaluate a ...


3

Lots of good answers! I'm only adding a bit of context to some of them. Teaching Most of history, people are illiterate. You don't have a lot of options to transmit information. A form is a simple thing you can memorize and keep practicing and pass down and keep the basic movements even if you're just a farmer. Some styles would teach short 2-3 ...



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